Initial research will start as soon as fall 2010, and the Center will be fully operational by 2011.

UT, AstroTurf to break ground for new research center

University of Tennessee and Partner AstroTurf® to Break Ground on Research Center for Safer Athletics Fields

WHO:  The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, AstroTurf®, and Eric Berry, former Tennessee Volunteer safety now with the Kansas City Chiefs

Friday, June 18, 2010; 10 a.m. at the UT Institute of Agriculture’s East Tennessee Ag Research and Education Center

In July of last year, UT and AstroTurf® announced creation of the multi-year research initiative that will compare natural grass playing surfaces to synthetic surfaces. With the goal of improving athletic performance and reducing injuries, the initiative will provide the most comprehensive, ongoing comparison of synthetic surfaces to natural grass.

The geographic location of the site will enable scientists to conduct research on a variety of surfaces from both cool- and warm-season climates. The unique outdoor research facility will comprise 60 small-scale athletic research fields constructed from a variety of playing surfaces. Field qualities will range from those employed for professional–level sports to surfaces used by schools, public parks and recreation fields.

While determining the safety and performance of AstroTurf® products compared to various natural turfgrass systems, UT turfgrass scientists will also monitor these relationships over time. Additionally, they will evaluate the environmental impacts of each system. The research should lead to the development of new, more accurate methods for testing the safety and performance of all synthetic turf systems. or